I have done some research and asked in a few forums for gold plating on anodized aluminum and stainless steel but haven't yet found the answer to my questions.

What are the chemicals for pre-processing the surface and the suitable gold solution for these tasks?

For stainless steel I believe they use Wood's nickel for pre-processing. Is it the only or the easiest method? How about anodized aluminum?

  • $\begingroup$ You could try Google for your research. E.g., I found Procedure For Brush Plating Stainless Steel Items, and you can request an MSDS for the gold solution. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ I also wondering what solution for the anodized aluminum as I use multi-meter and can see it is not electrical conductivity, so cannot apply electro-plating immediately? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 6:17

1 Answer 1


Both materials you have selected are not good candidates for electroplating because they both protect themselves already with an oxide coating. "anodized" is referring to an intentional increased amount of surface oxide to protect the metal. This oxide must be removed, so you really want to ask "how to gold plate aluminum" not anodized aluminum. In order to plate them you have to go through an acid pickling process that removes the oxide, then nickel plating(has better adhesion), then gold plating.

I am not an expert and there are may steps involved especially for high quality finishes. I recommend asking your question here (Caswell > Electroplating Questions).

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for pointing a good direction, I'm asking question there hope can get the answers soon and I will also accept your answer here. Btw, I also quite considering about the surface processing, as you say, if removing the oxide, will the surface becomes softer and uglier ? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 7:39

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